Educating for the Lived Gospel #98

“If we cross trials in total surrender to God’s will, the angel of the Lord will always come to visit us” Helene de Chappotin

Firstly, I need to discern God’s will for me. I need to ignore messianic delusions or ego-fuelled fantasies. I then chart a course and do my best to live it out – dealing with life’s ups and downs along the way! Matthew’s Beatitudes have Jesus saying, ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.’ (Matthew 5:11) But when that happens, you don’t feel so blessed! There are people who will try to turn the good you do into something shadowy or negative. That is the time you need to wait for ‘the angel of the Lord’, remembering that the word ‘angel’ means messenger. This may take the form of being given the grace and strength to endure. Or it might be a kind or affirming word from a friend, colleague or student.

It is good to encourage our young people to ponder ‘What is God’s will for me?’ I believe that God’s will for each of us is using the good that is in each of us – our gifts and talents – to build community. Offering our good back to the source of all good will bring our happiness. Many of the young people in our care know about living with difficulties. As Christians, we are people of hope. But our salvation always goes through the cross. No pie in the sky, rather living in and through our difficulties. Pain, suffering and even death do not have the last word. Such a message of reality and hope is one that rings true for our young people.

Have a great week…and holiday if you get one!

Patrick

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